Ramaphosa gives hint Sona will deal with infrastructure projects

President Cyril Ramaphosa said he will address the issue of infrastructure projects in his State of the Nation Address next year. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa said he will address the issue of infrastructure projects in his State of the Nation Address next year. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Published Dec 15, 2023


President Cyril Ramaphosa has given a glimpse into his State of the Nation Address next year when he indicated he will announce major infrastructure projects.

Ramaphosa also said they are addressing the logistics crisis as the roadmap has been approved by Cabinet and is being implemented.

He also said in his Sona in February that he would address the issue of the high cost of living and how the government plans to cushion the poor, vulnerable, and unemployed.

But on the infrastructure projects he said this would be able to deal with the issue of housing.

Ramaphosa also said they will replicate the Gauteng government’s mass employment programme in all provinces and municipalities. This will create thousands of jobs for South Africans.

The crisis at Transnet was a major sticking point, and this has impacted the freight logistics company’s balance sheet and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Mining companies have also been affected by the crisis in rail networks and ports.

Ramaphosa, who was addressing the ANC manifesto review in Ekurhuleni on Friday, said they need to deal with the issue of the crisis at Transnet.

“We are now dealing with logistics, where our logistics sector has almost collapsed. But through the roadmap that was recently adopted by Cabinet we are now going to reconfigure, repackage, and strengthen that logistics so that as our trains move from as far afield as Lephalale and as far afield as Kathu to Saldanha Bay, we should be assured that our rail works well and our road work is excellent. All that is going to be better managed,” said Ramaphosa.

However, he said in his Sona next year he will deal with the issue of infrastructure.

He said investment in infrastructure projects has been declining over the years, but they will now ramp it up.

“We have built capacity to confront all these setbacks, especially in a number of areas. When it comes to infrastructure, we have built capacity. There have been a number of challenges. Our investment in infrastructure has been going down over the years. We now know how best to take it up again. We have come to a good realisation of how to fund the infrastructure.

“I was walking around with (Premier) Zamani Saul in the Northern Cape, and he says to me, comrade president, there are informal settlements mushrooming all over, and if we went with the budget that we have, it will take us 50 years to get rid of all the informal settlements.

“We spoke and postulated about that, but then I said we can forward fund these. We can build them now, take them out now, and do forward funding. That mechanism has now been embraced in government, and as we go to Sona next year, we will be outlining precisely the big, hairy projects that we are going to embark upon because we have solved a fundamental problem of money,” said Ramaphosa.

He said they will replicate the Gauteng provincial government’s mass employment programme to address the problem of unemployment.

Premier Panyaza Lesufi has, over the last few months, announced thousands of jobs every month in various sectors.

Lesufi had said they would employ thousands of young people until after the elections.

Last weekend, Lesufi handed over more than 10,000 appointment letters to young people at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg.

Ramaphosa said this was an important initiative that has been able to have an impact on the unemployed.

This programme came as a result of discussions they had, and they believe other provinces and municipalities must implement it.

“There is no doubt, comrades, that unemployment is the biggest problem that we are facing. However, national departments, provincial departments, and municipalities have now developed mechanisms to employ many young people. The much-talked-about Nasi iSpani here in Gauteng is a brilliant initiative that has come about as a result of the discussions that have been taking place. We are now building a very good model that will be spread around the country,” said Ramaphosa.

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